Cheshire Cat in New Zealand

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Pictures from New Zealand

Cheshire Cat on the quarantine dock when we first arrived in new Zealand from Tonga

Everyone remarked on how pleased they were to arrive in the beautiful Bay of Islands - Opua is the nearest entry port for all the cruisers arriving in New Zealand. We were later told that over 400 foreign flagged boats checked in here this season.

We were particularly relieved as we stil had that problem with the propshaft, so we immediately arranged to haul out at Ashby's Boatyard.

The engine came out and went back in several times - I was given the wonderful job of cleaning it up (it hadn't seen a clean up for several years - yuk!) Mike slaved over it time and time again, but was extremely lucky to have the invaluable moral support and helpful expertise frim Heiko from Stenella. (we first met this boat when Helen was on holiday in Venezuela)

Opua Yacht ClubThe yacht club was the venue for several pleasant evenings - and for a really good Chrtistmas dinner held by the cruisers, for the cruisers. Mary and Chris from Aventura were terrific volunteers and Chris - in full Scots dress regalia was MC for the evening.

Overlooking the Bay of Islands
Friends. Mary (Aventura); Gertrude (Tartufo); Cindy (Figment) and Deirdre

Russel is a small town located just across the bay - it used to be the capitol city here in long ago times. We took the opportunity to visit when the tall ships were racing in the bay.Russel Yacht club

Races - three nights a week, rain or shine!

We visited Diane at her home in Rotarua and were treated to a tour of some of the town centre thermal springs as well as a trip out over a beautiful freshwater lake. There were several places in the water where it was too hot to dip a toe even. We also learned that there no white swans here in New Zealand - only the black variety.
Hot springs in Rotarua park

Meeting house or Maerae
Harruru Falls
Hunterwasser toilets, KawaKawa
Mike with New Zealand America's cup entry
The engine came out many timesAudie, Heather and Catherine payed a flying vist and stayed on the boat with us - a bit of a cramped picnic, but they were very good. We visited the Hot springs nearby and enjoyed sloshing about in the smelly mud and water!
When CC fell down

This was a bit of a shock - although luckily old CC is truly overbuilt and didn't suffer more than a few scratches.

We had hauled out at Ashby's yard in Opua, (yet again - this would be the third time) and the yard guys put us in a cradle and propped the bows with a wooden post. It rained and got a little windy - nothing that we would remark on or make us anxious however. We were sound asleep in the boat late that night when quite suddenly we were woken to a sinking feeling - and moments of mad panic as we realised that the boat was tipping forward. When it finally came to rest we didn't quite know what to do - how to get out without making our situation more perilous. It felt like one of those moments you only see in the movies - when a car is balance on the edge of a perilous precipice! If you move the wrong way it will tip over the edge!

Cutting a story short - we escaped without further mishap. Tried to raise help but at that time of night there seemed to be no one available - either at Ashby's yard or at the night security telephone number. Next day everything was put back in place, and surveyor came to check the yacht and make sure she really was OK. Of course this delayed our project a little - especially as the yard was closed down when another much larger boat tipped in the same way.

This time it was much more of a disaster as there was a rigging guy up the mast at the time - he broke a knee when he was swung around by the jolt of the boat falling.

We were assured by the yard that we would be compensated for all the trouble. At the end of the day they offered us 10 percent off the overall yard and work bill - which, by the way, exceeded the original verbal estimate, fourfold.